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Curfew lifted from outer areas of Uttarakhand's Haldwani, magisterial probe ordered into violence

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Haldwani (U'khand), Feb 10 (PTI) Curfew has been lifted from the outer areas of this violence-hit Uttarakhand town but it remains in force in the Banbhoolpura area that witnessed arson and vandalism by a mob over the demolition of an illegally-built madrasa on Thursday.

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A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incidents with instructions to conclude it within a fortnight.

The order issued by Chief Secretary Radha Raturi said the magisterial probe will be conducted by Kumaon Commissioner Deepak Rawat, who will submit his report to the government in 15 days.

The order limiting the area under curfew to Banbhoolpura was issued on Saturday by Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh.

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The curfew has now been limited to the entire Banbhoolpura area, which also includes the Army Cantonment (including workshop line)-Tikonia-Teenpani and the area within the peripheries of the Gaulapar bypass, the order said.

Movement of vehicles on the Nainital-Bareily motor road and commercial establishments will be free from the restriction, it added.

However, only hospitals and medical shops will remain open in the areas where the curfew is in force.

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Shops on the outskirts of the town opened on Saturday following the partial lifting of the curfew but schools remained closed.

"Patrolling is continuously being done in the affected areas and the situation is under control," Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Law and Order, A P Anshuman, who is camping in Haldwani, told PTI Videos.

Five people involved in Thursday's violence have so far been arrested and three FIRs registered, the officer said.

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Sixteen peoole have been named as accused in the three FIRs, the ADG said, adding that five of them have been arrested and the rest will also be held soon.

Internet services continue to be suspended to prevent rumours from spreading through social media platforms.

The residents of the Banbhoolpura area, where the curfew is still in force, are being allowed to buy essentials from time to time, the ADG said.

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The movement of trains up to Kathgodam has also been resumed, he added.

No fresh untoward incident has been reported from anywhere, the officer said.

Six rioters were killed in Thursday's violence, officials said.

More than 60 people were injured on Thursday as locals hurled stones and petrol bombs at municipal workers and police, forcing many police personnel to seek refuge at a police station, which the mob then set on fire.

Seven people, including a journalist, were under treatment on Friday at three different hospitals. Three of them were said to be in a serious condition. PTI COR ALM RC

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